Bobbi Brown talks personal taste: Part Two

The cosmetics doyenne concludes her compendium of passions with shopping in SoHo, her love affair with London and the wellbeing treatments she can’t live without

Bobbi Brown at home in New Jersey
Bobbi Brown at home in New Jersey | Image: Weston Wells

My style icon is Phoebe Philo. I like her simple aesthetic: a shirt is a shirt and a pair of trousers is a pair of trousers, but with her flawless design and fabric choices these pieces become special. She carries herself beautifully too and I think she is a wonderful role model – a working mother who puts her family first. To me, she embodies effortless, timeless style.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a series of portraits by photographer Henry Leutwyler, to my friend John Demsey [group president of Estée Lauder]. Leutwyler photographed his four-year-old daughter as a surprise.

Bobbi Brown’s Flamingos suede boots, £300
Bobbi Brown’s Flamingos suede boots, £300 | Image: Weston Wells

And the best one I’ve received recently was a pair of delicate hoop earrings with clusters of dangling pearls by my favourite jewellery designer Ted Muehling. I have an incredible collection of his things – strands of pearls in rosy pink and opalescent colours; simple brushed-gold earrings – and they often inspire my make-up colours and collections.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year was Biarritz with my whole family, including my three grown sons and their girlfriends. There is nothing better than a beachy vacation with French food and we ate delicious seafood in atmospheric seaside restaurants like Le Surfing. It was a very relaxing, special trip. 9 Boulevard Prince de Galles, 64200 Biarritz (+3355-924 7872;


The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing include my osteopath, Dr Erik Steiner, whose bi-weekly sessions keep me perfectly aligned with just 45 minutes of gentle manipulation. Then there’s my manicurist, Roza Israel, who comes to our offices weekly and is available to all our staff, and my hairstylist Marissa Martoni at Marie Robinson; she’s been cutting my hair for years and I trust her completely. I also have regular Chinese massages at a small and non-descript salon near my house; I love the low-key atmosphere and the fact that I don’t have to book it in advance. Dr Erik Steiner, 41 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003 (+1212-227 6967; Marie Robinson Salon, 10th floor, 40 W 25th St, New York, NY 10010 (+1212- 358 7780; Roza Israel,

A recent “find” is Sant Ambroeus restaurant on Lafayette Street near our offices in New York. It’s been open for a while but is only now coming onto my radar. I love everything about the place – the warm atmosphere, the simple-yet-delicious food, the excellent people-watching. The owner is an amazing host. 265 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012 (+1212-966 2770;

Phoebe Philo
Phoebe Philo | Image: David Sims

If I didn’t live in Montclair, New Jersey, the city I would live in is London because I am something of an Anglophile. I would love to live in Mayfair, at the Connaught, with its wonderful bar and special fresh-ginger tea. I like the beautiful architecture in this area and its proximity to Hyde Park, where I’d go running. Scott’s is one of my favourite restaurants in the world and I love the beautiful salads and grains at both The Detox Kitchen and Ottolenghi. I’m also a big fan of the theatre and living here would make seeing the latest plays much easier. The Connaught, Carlos Place (020-7499 7070; Detox Kitchen, 10 Kingly Street (020-7439 9386; Ottolenghi, 13 Motcomb Street (020-7823 2707; Scott’s, 20 Mount Street (020-7495 7309;

The last thing I added to my wardrobe was a pair of black suede platform boots by Flamingos. I’m typically a sneaker girl and love comfortable footwear, but sometimes I need a bit of height. These boots have a thick rubber sole and can be worn with everything from Acne jeans to black Nili Lotan pants. £300;

London at dusk
London at dusk | Image: Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

In my fridge you’ll always find almond milk for my morning espressos and freshly squeezed lemon juice for my husband’s hot-water infusions. There’ll be eggs, all kinds of berries for smoothies and, typically, the makings of a casual dinner – a roast chicken from Whole Foods, Rao’s pasta sauce, kale for a salad – and San Pellegrino grapefruit soda, which the whole family likes mixed with sparkling water.

My favourite room in my house is my bedroom. It’s a soothing space – very open and full of serene whites and greys. I like to retreat here to read and watch TV, usually at the same time, before drifting off to sleep.

Sant Ambroeus in SoHo
Sant Ambroeus in SoHo | Image: Bruce Buck

The artists whose work I would collect if I could include Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. I love the colour, composition and openness of pop art, and while the vibrancy isn’t in keeping with my personal aesthetic, I find their work very stirring.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose SoHo in New York; I love the street life in this area and the high-low mix of stores. There’s Acne Studios and Maison Margiela for shoes and Steven Alan for its clothing edit. The spare Céline store on Wooster Street is my go-to for timeless pieces and I like J Crew for basics such as cashmere sweaters. Equinox has an excellent selection of freshly squeezed juices and raw foods and Balthazar is the best for delicious take away salads. Acne Studios, 33 Greene Street (+1212-334 8345;, 80 Spring Street (+1212-965 1414; Céline, 67 Wooster Street (+1212-226 8001; Equinox, 69 Prince Street (+1212-334 4631; J Crew, 99 Prince Street (+1212-966 2739; Maison Margiela, 91 Grand Street (+1646-781 7852; Steven Alan, 230 Elizabeth Street (+1212-343 7974;


If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a chef. I like simple, great-tasting food that makes you look and feel good and I’d love to be able to cook on a regular basis. This is a huge area of interest for me, so much so that I’m signed up for cooking classes with Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Food, Dirty City, where I hope to learn to make delicious, plant-based meals.

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